About Real Homes

All style, no filter: make any space your own

A living room with a white coffee with decor, a blue couch, and an orange armchair
(Image credit: @homewithhelenandco)

At Real Homes, all style, no filter is our game. We understand the reality of living in a small space and are committed to helping you create a place that feels like home no matter where you are. We get what it's like to cram your stuff into a tiny dorm and how it feels to have to completely rearrange your furniture and decor when you move into a new apartment. It can be fun, but it's not always pretty or identical to what you see in high-end home tour vids on social. 

We also understand that a lot of questions come with moving out of your parents' place and into your own space. How do you find a roommate? What's the best way to arrange a studio apartment? And WTF do all those laundry symbols mean? We have answers to these questions and more, alongside content that's a little more fun — like how to create a Danish pastel wall or DIY your own neon sign.

Meet the team

These are the people behind all the content you know and love. We're obsessed with apartments, dorms, and rentals — and with helping you make them feel like your own. Learn more about us below 👇

Emily Lambe deputy editor of Real Homes headshot
Emily Lambe

Hey! I’m Emily and I’m the deputy digital editor at Real Homes. I’m here to bring you the latest decor trends, inspirational ideas, and the best budget-friendly buys. I live in a rented apartment, making the most of small spaces and using accent pieces to make things pop. When I’m not writing, I’m usually doing yoga, eating chocolate, or working on my skincare routine.

Headshot of Annie Collyer
Annie Collyer

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. I've been part of the Real Homes team since 2018, when I joined as deals editor. Along with covering major sales events — from Black Friday to Amazon Prime Day — I review home must-haves so that you can buy with peace of mind. Mostly focusing on home fragrance and sleep, as well as a few vacuum cleaners, I've tested pretty much every item you can think of that you need in your home. I live on the outskirts of the city in a two-bed apartment with my husband and my pug, Doug. So I am always searching for compact alternatives and ways to save floor space. What about when I am not typing away? Well, you'll find me enjoying an iced coffee (no matter the season) and trying out the latest brunch spots the city has to offer, or booking my next holiday. Where else can you find my words? Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Gardeningetc, and Woman & Home.

Christina Chrysostomou selfie
Christina Chrysostomou

I am a commerce editor at Real Homes and joined the team in June 2021 having previously worked on Good Homes. Living in close proximity to Epping Forest, I am spoiled for choice with lush green spaces and also have a lovely English garden complete with a floral mélange of roses, lavender, jasmine, and an apple tree in my two-bed ground floor maisonette.

photo of Nishaa Sharma, social editor
Nishaa Sharma

Hi! My name is Nishaa, and I’m the social media editor here at Real Homes. Originally from the Pacific Northwest in the US, I’ve made my way to the English countryside via Canada, Australia, Hungary, and Portugal. Along the way, I’ve found my passion for writing and creating content through working with travel, lifestyle, and wellness brands, and now use my expertise in social media to stay on top of the latest and greatest in home trends. When I’m not scrolling for the best home decor trends for ya, you can find me exploring the cutest villages and brunch spots, or snuggled up on the sofa with a new recipe, my husband, and our puppy, Ebble!

Selfie of Eve Smallman
Eve Smallman

Hiya! I’m Eve, and I’m a staff writer at Real Homes. I’m here to bring you on-trend news pieces, product round-ups, and styling inspiration. I live in a rented Victorian terraced house, and enjoy making it shine with pieces that are both beautiful and practical. When I’m not writing, I’m walking around local beauty spots, nestling into a book, or diving into a cheeseboard (I’m a total cheese fiend!).

Beth Mahoney headshot
Beth Mahoney

Hi! I’m Beth, and I’m a staff writer at Real Homes. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy. I’m forever searching for items that will add style to my rather sterile, rented newbuild townhouse. I am forever searching for eye-catching and on-trend pieces of decor that will add personality without damaging the paintwork. When I’m not writing and researching trends and news pieces, you’ll usually find me camped out at my favorite coffee house with my Kindle, testing out new beauty products to blog about, restoring old furniture, or going on Instagrammable beach walks with my dog and fiancé.

Jenny illustration
Jenny McFarlane

I'm the senior digital editor for Real Homes and joined in January 2021 working across the Future Homes Network brands and video show, which is packed full of ideas to help you make the most of your own home and garden. My obsession with interior design began at a tender age, glued to Changing Rooms on BBC. Fast forward 10 years and I was studying for a degree in textiles at university. After my degree, I lived and worked in the arts in Washington DC. On returning to the UK I kickstarted my career on women's and lifestyle titles such as InStyle, Red, and LUXE City Guides. Five years on and I was heading up the content strategy and digital presence on interiors brands Good Homes, Grand Designs and ICON. I really love making wherever I live a little haven and working to make it stylish and comfortable.

Selfie of Melissa Epifano, editor in chief of Real Homes
Melissa Epifano

Hi, I'm Melissa! While I probably couldn't have put my finger on it when I was younger, I've always been interested in how your home makes you feel. I often had 2 am bedroom rearranging sessions as a teen and my mom kindly allowed me to paint my beach-themed bedroom bright aqua (and my bathroom bubblegum pink). My tastes have certainly changed, but I'm still deeply invested in how color, decor, and layout all contribute to a home you feel good in. Prior to my role at Real Homes, I worked as an editor at The Spruce and wrote and edited for several other sites, including Apartment Therapy, Forbes, MyDomaine, People, InStyle, and Real Simple. I'm all about decorating small spaces and helping renters and people sharing homes find ways of personalization.

Real Homes Magazine Team

Alison Jones illustration
Alison Jones

I arrived at Real Homes after too long a career in newspapers (local and national). Following brief interludes as a news and court reporter, I found a natural home on the features desk (better hours, more perks) and bluffed my way to becoming a film critic/writer. Various multi-hyphenate roles followed, including editing numerous fashion, lifestyle and property magazines for the papers, before being unexpectedly offered a job at Real Homes as a sub then Assistant Editor.

Amelia Smith illustration
Amelia Smith

I joined Real Homes magazine in 2016, and have been lucky enough to take on four different roles within the brand since. From styling real houses for photo shoots, to creating videos, and from managing the style and decorating content in the magazine to writing house tours, I’ve dabbled in many areas of Real Homes and I’ve loved every minute of it. 

Anna Morley illustration
Anna Morley

Art directing photo shoots, calling in gorgeous homewares, visiting and styling beautiful readers' homes, plus presenting on our in-house TV show, I can honestly say that being the style editor for Real Homes is varied as well as tons of fun. Rewind several years — okay maybe a decade or so — and I started my career pathway as a picture editor in California, which then led me to work in the magazine industry, styling for interior design agencies, as well as faux flower specialists. Oh, and did I mention I get to look at pretty interior pictures all day too?

Emily Smith illustration
Emily Smith

I'm senior art editor on Real Homes magazine and have been designing the magazine for over 11 years. After an HND in design (typography), I fell in love with magazine design. After working on publications in everything from fashion and beauty to a soccer magazine in the States, my love of interior and graphic design collided when I started working on Real Homes. When I'm not trying to fit all the pesky words into the magazine (I'm convinced my colleagues all write too much), I can be found art directing house shoots or working with the web team on image and graphic choices.

How to contact us

Want to collab? Interested in ads or features? There are lots of ways to get in touch with us:


  • US: Future PLC, 135 W41st St, New York, NY 10036 Telephone: +1 212 378 0448 
  • UK: Future PLC 121-141 Westbourne Terrace, London, W2 6JR Telephone: +44 (0)20 7042 4000

Real Homes Awards

We like to recognise people in the interiors industry who reflect the mission of Real Homes – that is, showing how any space can be turned into a great home with a little imagination. 

The Real Homes Homes & Garden Awards is our yearly competition to find the very best transformations, from stunning kitchen extensions to bathroom makeovers. We look for people who have been savvy with space and budget, without compromising on style and offer a £1,000 prize to the winner.

Code of conduct

Real Homes is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint please contact realhomesdigital@futurenet.com or realhomes@futurenet.com for print matters. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk.


(Image credit: IPSO)

Product testing and reviews

There’s no hiding it, the Real Homes team is unashamedly in love with all things home-related. Together, we have years of experience in these subjects, and use our hard-won knowledge to bring you the very best products at the very best prices.

Our buying guide best buys are carefully chosen by our journalists based on a combination of our own experience, rigorous in-house testing and in-depth research into expert reviews, user reviews and ratings. In other words, it’s just as important to us to know and to report what you, the consumer, thinks about a product once you get it home, as it is to base our guides on our own knowledge and experts’ reviews.

Our guides include many of the retailers you shop with, including our trusted merchants, so that the unbiased shortlist we bring you includes the best products on the market at the time of writing.

We sort through thousands of deals to offer the best prices from the most trustworthy retailers. You can support us by clicking these independently selected links, as we may earn a commission on any purchase you make, at no extra cost to you.

Our reviews are rated on a system of 1-5 stars, based on the criteria of: design desirability – how good does it look, and does it meet our style aspirations; durabililty – likelihood to perform as well; performance – might be comfort (sofas), might be power (pressure washers), might be speed or accuracy (kettles); point of difference – how much does it add to the overall sum of product innovation, Is it noticeably pushing things forward, or is it a copyist me-too; value for money – Real Homes is all about making all of the above achievable to everyone (that’s not necessarily a case of the cheaper the better, but products get judged on value). 

Our experienced reviewers give each product a score out of 25 for the criteria leading to an overall percentage which translates to a star rating (products getting over 100 out of 125 get a 5-star rating).

Five stars - denotes an outstanding product in all of the above criteria. It is rarely awarded, although we do aim to review the best quality product possible and the various industries' leaders, to ensure you'll be buying the best products for your homes. These 5-star (and 4.5 star) products are awarded a Real Homes Rated Gold badge which you'll see dotted around the site.

Four stars - an excellent product that delivers on all the key criteria and would be a good investment for our audience. If a product gets this rating it receives a Real Homes Rated Silver badge.

Three stars - a good score that denotes the product has elements of all of the above criteria. It is the standard rating for products that could be enjoyed by most of our audience. They are awarded a Real Homes Rated Bronze badge.

Two stars - denotes a product that significantly disappoints on one of the key criteria above - perhaps it’s well-made but way overpriced, or looks good but feels uncomfortable.

One star - rarely used, but a one star review denotes a product we feel fails to deliver on several of the key criteria and is best avoided by most of our audience.

To ensure impartiality we are never paid for our reviews or for including a product. However we may earn an affiliate commission when you buy a product through our site. This does not impact our testing processes.

You can read more about our review process for full details.

Affiliate & advertising disclosure

We always aim to provide unbiased editorial created by our journalists and writers. We also need to pay our teams and website costs so we make money in a number of ways. We sometimes use affiliate links to products and services on retailer sites for which we can receive compensation if you click on those links or make purchases through them. From time to time we also publish advertorials (paid-for editorial content) and sponsored content on the site. When this is the case the content is clearly marked as sponsored or promoted, so you’ll always know which content is editorial and which is not. Future PLC is our parent company and has an in-depth terms and conditions page with a lot more information that you can read right here

When you see a label saying "Preferred Partner," that means a commercial partner is offering a preferential affiliate rate to Future in exchange for greater prominence on the page, such as by highlighting a particular deal for a product that our journalists recommend. Real Homes will only write content featuring 'Preferred Partners' when we feel it's aligned with our mission to create the best content for our audience. The text is written by a Real Homes journalist, or one under the direction of a Real Homes senior editor, and posted to Real Homes. It is not sent to the funding partner for approval. This content abides by the Editors’ Code of Practice from the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

How do we source our news?

Our team is committed to bringing the latest relevant property news to our audience of homeowners and renters. We primarily do this by interpreting market analysis for our particular audience, but we also create original research through our Real Homes Reports strand. 

All news labelled Real Homes Reports has been produced from surveys conducted by Future PLC's Audience Insight team, via The Illuminate Panel – our proprietary reader survey utility.

Privacy policy

Real Homes is part of Future PLC. We are both fiercely committed to protecting your privacy. Please have a look at our in-depth privacy policy.